Meet EveryStep Volunteer Kate Hymans-Smith

For most Americans, retirement offers freedom from the commitments of a full-time job, and freedom for traveling, relaxing and finding new interests to pursue. Sometimes an old interest has time to blossom. That’s how Kate Hymans-Smith became involved in hospice care.

“I was retired and wanted to spend some time doing something interesting and valuable. I’d had several very close people in my life pass from cancer, so felt I had some experience with the process of death,” says Kate. “As a younger person, I worked in a care center and found I really loved it. Helping people is something I like to do.”

Kate decided to funnel that interest and passion into volunteering with the EveryStep Hospice Metro team.

“As an EveryStep volunteer, I have visited people in care centers, homes, Kavanagh House in Des Moines and during renovations to that building, at the Bright Kavanagh Center in east Des Moines,” says Kate. “I am currently doing phone visits with a lovely person and enjoy this as well. I am an 11th Hour volunteer, and will sit and talk with a person near the end of their life.”

In addition to her volunteer work with EveryStep Hospice Metro team, Kate enjoys spending time with family and friends. Music is also a passion, and up until a couple of years ago, she sang with a rock band! You may also find her at flea markets or thrift stores, as collecting antiques is also a favorite pastime.

Kate says she feels fulfilled by her work with EveryStep. “I feel valued as a volunteer and I like that the patients feel like they have someone who cares about them. For me, the best thing about volunteering with EveryStep is the relationship formed with the people. It’s a rewarding experience and I truly look forward to seeing or talking to them.”

To learn about volunteering opportunities with EveryStep, visit

If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946. Or, complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.